Published on March 7, 2014
How Experts Would Fix 8 Twitter Missteps Insights from top social media minds
Abstract To compile the Tweets for this report, I followed these steps: ! • I created a list of the 130 most socially active brands (those listed on The Social 100, the 2012 Social Customer Service Index, the 2012 Brands on Twitter report and Forbes 20 Most Social Brands Report). • Then, I then set up queries with analytics tool Brandwatch to pull a month’s worth of social media data for each brand. • To narrow down my list of 130, I focused on those companies with the highest ratio of negative sentiment. • Then, I created a filter to only pull mentions from Twitter that included the words “customer service” and had negative sentiment. (Note: This sentiment analysis is automated. It is possible that some mentions were incorrectly identified as being negative, and vice versa for mentions that were categorized as neutral or positive).
Silence Is NOT Golden: Don’t Leave Your Customers Hanging Customer Tweet: Company Response: [The company did not respond in this case] Expert’s “Corrected” Response: According to our experts, this is one of the most common missteps companies make: not responding at all. In fact, one study found that only 29 percent of customers receive a response when voicing a complaint on Twitter.
Don’t Leave Your Customers Hanging [Example 2] Customer Tweet: Company Response: [The company did not respond in this case] Expert’s “Corrected” Response: Here’s a second example of a company not responding. Kim suggests brands always do the following in their responses: acknowledge issue head-on, address customer by name, apologize and attempt to fix the issue.
Don’t Tell Customers to Do Something When They’re Upset Customer Tweet: Company Response: Expert’s “Corrected” Response: A recent HBR article described why low-effort customer service is one of the most important factors when it comes to fostering customer loyalty. In this interaction, American Airlines did the opposite.
Don’t Just Respond—Tell The Customer You’re Here to Help Customer Tweet: Company Response: Expert’s “Corrected” Response: The responder should always clearly state their desire to help the customer. While it’s implied the customer can email the address provided to get a response, the agent should have specifically said the words “we want to help.”
Tell The Customer You’re Here to Help [Example 2] Customer Tweet: Company Response: Expert’s “Corrected” Response: In addition to not making a clear offer to help immediately, Vermeren says Target’s response is robotic and typical of companies using canned responses in social media interactions.
Choose Your Words Carefully Customer Tweet: Company Response: Expert’s “Corrected” Response: With so few characters in a Tweet, it’s critical that agents choose their words carefully. In this case, if you’re going to ‘convey’ something, you’re just describing it—it doesn’t imply that you’re going to take action.
Don’t Forget to Close the Issue Publicly Customer Tweet: Company Response: Expert’s “Corrected” Response: In instances where you have to take the interaction to a private channel (because account information is needed), don’t forget to close the issue publicly to let everyone know the issue was resolved.
Ask the Customer for a Chance to Rectify the Experience Customer Tweet: Company Response: Expert’s “Corrected” Response: In instances when the problem isn’t something you can’t technically “fix” because it’s a negative experience, create an opportunity for the customer to give you another chance to rectify the situation.
To Respond, or Not to Respond? “It’s important to understand that there is no obligation, per se, on the part of the brand to respond—participation is the brand’s decision … ! It is also then the right of the customer to draw from this whatever conclusion one wishes. Most customers, left ignored, would conclude the brand is disinterested in satisfying them.” —Dave Evans, VP of social strategy for Lithium Technologies In other words, while social media isn’t a “required channel” in the way phone and email support is, companies should recognize the risk they take in not making it a priority: they could end up losing customers. !
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About the Author. Ashley Verrill has spent the last six years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has been featured or ...
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